President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Friday, April 26, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump on Saturday continued to promote his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying there is “tremendous potential” for the two countries to have a good or great relationship.
Trump suggested the “Fake News Media” is not covering that potential fairly. He alleged the media misled the public about special council Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump and Putin spoke for over an hour on Friday, the White House said. The two discussed the Mueller report, Venezuela, Ukraine, North Korea and nuclear arms control.
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are heightened on several fronts.
Washington backs Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in his bid to push strongman Nicolas Maduro from power, while Moscow is supporting the Maduro regime. The Trump administration also suspended a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia this year, and U.S. sanctions remain in place on Moscow over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in order to hurt Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and bolster Trump. Mueller indicted 13 individuals and three entities in Russia on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by posing as Americans to stoke political and racial tension on social media during the election.